AIAS Lunch Seminar 5 Nov. - Max Smolka - Financial Times Deutschland

Shareholder Value versus Stakeholder Value in The Netherlands (plus optionally a general debate on business journalism afterwards)

Abstract

As in most other European countries, shareholder value has been on the increase in the Dutch business world in the past decade. In listed companies, boards have to base their decisions mainly on what their shareholders desire rather than on the interests of other stakeholders like employees. This has been particularly obvious on two fronts in the past few years:
For one thing a takeover wave has resulted in a host of Dutch companies being sold off abroad. There is talk of an “uitverkoop van Nederland”. Boards can no longer prevent unsolicited takeover bids; defence mechanisms which used to be in place have been abolished. Secondly, aggressive minority shareholders with holdings of no more than one or two percent have attacked managements, demanding the break-up of companies (ABN Amro, Stork, DSM) or large cash pay-outs (Philips, Akzo Nobel).
The trend towards shareholder value was endorsed by politics and the Dutch business world itself, as was obvious in the “Code Tabaksblat” for corporate governance in 2004. Meanwhile, however, there is a growing unease about what may be seen as excesses of shareholder value, and the question is whether the pendulum begins to swing back – towards more attention to the interests of other stakeholders.
This seminar will suggest that there is little evidence of the first issue being addressed, despite a tendency towards more protectionism abroad. On the second issue, the Dutch government is in the process of taking some legal measures. The conclusion, in a nutshell, is: Shareholder value is still flourishing, but a particularly short-term variety of it is being challenged.
The seminar will, en passant, touch on how an intricate subject like this is viewed from a journalist’s point of view. The Q&A session afterwards, however, will be open to any debate on the way journalism works (or doesn’t work).

Dag: Donderdag 5 november
Tijd: 12.15 – 13.15 uur.
Locatie: AIAS, 3e verdieping gebouw M, Plantage Muidergracht 12
Inschrijven: Stuur ons een e-mail vóór woensdag 4 november 12.00.
Dan ligt er een broodje voor u klaar.

Klik hier voor een overzicht van alle lunch seminars van september-december 2009

 
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